Knitting For Beginners: A Perfect First Project

Published: September 30, 2013

Today we’re going to delve into knitting for beginners. Kids being the beginners- but maybe you are, too! Basic knitting is really easy to pick up, and you just need to figure out the casting on (getting the yarn on the needle), the basic knit stitch, and binding off (ending the project).

Perfect knitting project for beginners (and kids)

Basic Knitting Project

Scarves, while they are a logical beginner’s project, are also a bit daunting because they’re like a million feet long. Plus I think scarves might not be the most exciting thing for kids. Mine refuse to wear them. So do I, for that matter.

So I came up with this felted bracelet project– it involves just enough knitting so they get familiar with the hand movements, but not so much that they lose interest and tuck it away in a corner under their bed.

The second part is that they get to throw their knitting in the washing machine and dryer to felt it. It’s a little thrill to take a piece of knitting out of the dryer and have a brand new, fuzzy item.

Felted Bracelets Project for kids (and beginner knitting adults!)

Here’s how Wikipedia explains how felting works, because they can do it better than I:

Felt is made by a process called wet felting where the natural wool fibres, stimulated by friction and lubricated by moisture (usually soapy water), move at a 90 degree angle towards the friction source and then away again, in effect making little “tacking” stitches. While at any given moment only 5% of the fibres are active, the process is continual, so different ‘sets’ of fibres become activated and then deactivated, thereby building up the cloth.

Did you fall asleep? Essentially, the friction, water and a little soap make natural fibers sort of mat themselves together. It’s science, folks.


Knitting needles size 6 or 7- I would buy wooden knitting needles for beginners, as they tend to grip the yarn nicely.

Yarn –  You will need 100% wool yarn for this project or it won’t felt. Suggestions: This little yarn group is all sorts of fun colors! You need less than 1 skein for this project. Ooh, but these yarn groupings are gorgeous, too. (Be prepared to become full-on addicted to yarn if you start knitting.)

Embroidery thread and embroidery needle – You can find these at craft stores, sewing stores or Amazon.

Casting On

The Knit Stitch

Binding Off

If your kids are slightly too young for knitting with needles, check out this finger knitting tutorial. It’s a good intro to the concept of knitting.


Throw your knitted pieces into the washing machine with a couple of towels. Wash on the hottest setting with a little detergent, then dry everything on hot.

Your pieces should emerge felted! You can now cut off one end to make it straight. Measure around your wrist, cut to fit and sew the 2 ends together with a whip stitch. I originally wanted to have this bracelet snap together, but the horrible little snap tool I have didn’t work in the thick felt. Make sure you leave the bracelet long enough to fit over your hand when taking off and putting on.

felting bracelets- a beginner's knitting project

Beyond the Knitting Basics is my very, very favorite site for knitting videos. It’s how I learned to knit- It’s brilliant to be able to watch a technique over and over again, and try it out as you’re watching.

Of course, when I was learning to knit, there weren’t resources like CreativeBug and Bluprint, both of which have amazing knitting instructors and classes. (I still can’t get over CreativeBug’s cheap monthly price for access to all their classes.)

If you’re looking for a couple of lovely books geared toward knitting for kids, these 2 are pretty great:

Kids knitting books

Kids Knitting: Projects for Kids of all Ages and Knitting for Children: 35 Simple Knits Kids Will Love to Make

Here’s an article on the therapeutic benefits of knitting, including helping to manage disruptive behavior and ADHD in children.



24 thoughts on “Knitting For Beginners: A Perfect First Project”

  1. Oh, how knitting tutorials have changed in ten years, when I last voiced a desire to knit and I received a skein of horrible hunter-green yarn, knitting needles, and a Taught Myself Knitting! book that moved around various drawers in my house until I finally gave it to charity.

    Love those little bracelets! Maybe my kids can do them for their annual homemade Christmas gift project that I make them do every year.

  2. I have wanted to try knitting for the longest time and this gives me the inspiration to start and to try it with the kiddos! Thanks for the step by step Jeanette!

  3. Sharing this post with my daughter who took out a knitting book from her school library. First I have to get her needles. I only have crochet hooks. Thanks for the how to. I think videos are so helpful!

    • Trying to knit with crochet hooks would make her hate knitting forever. 🙂 I think videos are so important for learning things like knitting, because you can stare at those little pictures in books and sometimes they make zero sense until you see the hand movements. I hope she loves knitting!

  4. I love this idea. When I was a kid I tried knitting and I hated it, but clearly that was because the only thing I tried to make was a scarf. I lived in CA! What did I need a scarf for. Obviously what I really needed to make were these awesome bracelets.

    Also, on a side note, is it weird that there is a little note “this post is shared here” with a link to my window art post at the bottom of your post. Is that a ping back?

    • See? I don’t know why everyone thinks scarves are the perfect beginner’s project! It’s probably because I hate scarves, though. Now get back on that horse and make yourself some bracelets. Now, to address the mystery link at the bottom- I was just linking back to your linky party. Did I mess up? Am I a linky party failure?

  5. I recently got back into knitting, and my almost 7 year old was interested to try, but somehow she has really hard time figuring out tension needed. I think I learned knitting when I was 9 or so, so perhaps she is still a little young? Thanks for sharing this post with Afterschool!

  6. I’m feeling a little thick, here – are there stitch numbers somewhere? The bracelets look like they have been knitted as a strip, then sewn together in a tube, which is a step beyond what my beginning knitters can do just yet. How many stitches wide?

    • Hi Margie! They are 5 stitches wide, they’re not a tube, just flat, and I sewed them together with embroidery floss after they were felted- makes it much easier for beginner knitters!

  7. It says each bracelet takes less than a skein. I was wondering about doing this with a whole class of kids. Any idea how many skeins I would need?

    • Well, I asked someone I know who tried this with a class, and she couldn’t remember how much yarn she went through. I think also it depends on how much is on the skein. I am so sorry to not be more helpful, but maybe buy a skein and try one out yourself first? I always end up buying more than I think I need of something, so maybe 3 skeins for a class of 20 something?

  8. Hi there,

    I am excited to use this pattern to teach my great niece to knit. But I am having trouble with the video links…..when j click on each one, I get s message that says, “this video does not exist”. I would greatly appreciate your help! 🙂

    • So sorry I’m just seeing this! Somehow the videos disappeared. I replaced them with some other videos if you want to watch the basics. Hope this helps! I think I knitted about 10-12″ in length for each bracelet.

  9. Hello,
    The video links do not work for me either. I was just wondering how long you knitted before felting?

    • Hi Gail- so sorry about the videos. Somehow they disappeared! I replaced them with some other videos if you want to watch the basics. Otherwise, I’m not exactly remembering how long I knitted these, but I do know that I tend to like to be on the safe side, so with how much they shrink in the felting process, I would shoot for about 12″ long. You’ll end up cutting off some from the end. If you’d rather, you can always knit one up and felt it to get an idea for how long to make more of them. Hope this helps!

  10. Hello,
    This seems like a great project but I am a little confused about the actual steps. I see now that your original videos were replaced with some other videos. That explains why they seem to explain very basic steps but do not actually reference this project. Can you put in the text a few steps:

    How many stitches and how many rows?
    Did you just use knit rows all the way through, or was it a stockinette?

    Thank you!

    • Hi Erma! Thanks for your comment- unfortunately my videos got eaten so I put these temporary videos in until I can make some more. Another problem is that I did this project a few years ago, so I have no idea about the dimensions, stitches, etc. Big help, I know…. anyway I have this on my list of videos to do over! So sorry I couldn’t be of more help right now, but if you want to give this a try, it’s a pretty quick knit and you could just make sure you knit one that’s about twice the length of the diameter of your wrist to be safe.

      • Can you provide a rough estimate? How many stitches? How long to go until binding off? Six inches? Eight inches?


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